2 Pakistan Jaish terrorists on suicide mission killed ahead of PM’s visit to Jammu

SRINAGAR: Two Pakistani terrorists of the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammad group and a CISF officer were killed while nine more security personnel suffered bullet and splinter wounds in a four-hour gunfight following an ambush on a paramilitary bus early Friday near Sunjuwan military camp, 8km from Jammu city.
The attack by terrorists “wearing explosive-laden suicide vests” happened close to PM Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Jammu on April 24 to address the nation on Panchayati Raj Diwas from Palli panchayat in the frontier district of Samba, where more than 30,000 members of J&K’s rural bodies are expected to attend the event.
This will be his first general public event in J&K since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. The PM visited army camps in Rajouri and Nowshera in October 2019 and November 2021 to celebrate Diwali with soldiers stationed on the border.
Officials linked Friday’s attack with heightened terrorist activities to sabotage the PM’s visit, prompting authorities to step up security in Samba and roads leading to it.
They said terrorists ambushed a bus carrying 15 CISF personnel from the cantonment area of Jammu’s Bathandi around 4.30am. The attackers were effectively repulsed and forced to flee, but CISF assistant sub-inspector Shankar Prasad Patel of Naugawan village, Maihar tehsil, in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district was killed and two of his colleagues were wounded.
ASI Patel, 58, is survived by his wife and two sons. Two years from retirement, Patel moved with his unit to J&K on April 18 after working in Bhilai and Punjab before his latest posting. “He had spoken with his family three days ago,” his brother Shatrughan Prasad said.
With security teams in hot pursuit after the ambush, two fleeing JeM fidayeen members entered a house near the Sunjuwan camp and a shootout happened when the combined forces of CISF and J&K police surrounded them.
Jammu range DGP Dilbagh Singh said the terrorists were gunned down after a fierce fight in which seven security personnel were wounded. He said they were wearing “fidayeen vests” and were tasked to sabotage the PM Modi’s visit. “Timely action by our alert forces foiled their nefarious design,” he said.
The wounded personnel are CISF head constables SK Baliyan of UP’s Muzaffarnagar and R Nitin of Maharashtra, constables Parmod Patra of Odisha, Amir Soran of Assam, Sunny Kumar and Puneet Kumar—both from Bihar—and Rajesh Kumar of Kathua, Jammu. J&K police head constable Balraj Singh and SPO Sahil Sharma also sustained bullet wounds.
According to officials, the behaviour and action of the slain Jaish terrorists suggested they were new to the area and entered India through the LOC in the Samba sector a few days ago. Additional DGP Mukesh Singh said two AK-47 rifles, grenades, magazines, satellite phones, dry ration, medicines, and energy drinks were found on the two terrorists. “They were planning a fidayeen strike,” Singh said.
Authorities suspended mobile internet services partially in parts of Jammu while schools within a 5-km radius of Sunjuwan remained closed as security forces launched a mopping up operation after gunning down the two terrorists. Services were restored later.
The Sunjuwan camp was reinforced with additional guards and anti-terrorism measures after the pre-dawn sneak attack by three Jaish terrorists in February 2018 in which six soldiers and a civilian were killed and 20 wounded, including 14 jawans, five women and a kid. The terrorists were gunned down.
(With inputs from Sanjay Khajuria in Jammu)